OXFORD, Ohio (Steve Cady Arena) -- Junior forward Aaron McLeod (Ottawa, Ontario) scored twice and the Bemidji State University men's ice hockey team got two goals in the final 6:10 of play to defeat No. 1 Miami University 5-3 at Steve Cady Arena in Oxford, Ohio.
After a shaky first period, the Beavers seemed to get better as the game rolled on.
The tentative Beavers got whistled for a penalty early and the RedHawks capitalized, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal just 2:10 into the game. The power-play marker came off the backhand of Curtis McKenzie. Steve Mason was credited with an assist on the play.
BSU regrouped after allowing the early goal and despite trailing 1-0, held a 7-4 edge in shots on goal.
Bemidji State shook the butterflies before the second period and knotted the score just 1:44 in.
McLeod finished an end-to-end rush by the Beavers putting the puck over the shoulder of Cody Reichard for BSU's first goal of the 2011-12 season. Sophomore Jeff Jubinville (F, Edmonton, Alberta) earned and assist on the play after carrying the puck into the neutral zone, fighting through a hook and put the puck on the stick of McLeod between the circles.
The momentum would quickly switch ends as it took the top-ranked RedHawks just 1:32 to regain the lead (3:16). Chris Wideman funneled the puck to the net and Blake Coleman deflected it past BSU goaltender Dan Bakala (Sr., Calgary, Alberta) and into the back of the cage.
Entering the final frame trailing by a goal, the Beavers netted four goals in the third to solidify the win.
Just over five minutes in (5:08), Jake Areshenko (Jr., D, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia) potted his second collegiate goal unleashing a shot form the point that glanced of the left post and off the skate of MU goaltender Cody Reichard before sliding beyond the goal line. McLeod picked up his second point of the night as he and senior defender Brad Hunt (Ridge Meadows, British Columbia) earned assisted on the scoring play.
McLeod would give the Beavers their first lead of the game, 3-2, when he netted and unassisted goal at the 8:30 mark of the period, but the Beavers would not make it easy on themselves. Drew Fisher (Sr.., F, International Falls, Minn.) would be whistled for a penalty with 6:10 left in the game. It took 1:40, but MU connected on its second power-play of the night when Alex Wideman tucked a rebound past Bakala.
Bemidji State would gain momentum and the lead less than three minutes later (18:05). Darcy Findlay (Sr., F, Bristol, Quebec) intercepted a pass out of the corner and buried a backhand to put the Beavers up 4-3.
BSU was called for its sixth penalty of the game immediately following the goal setting the RedHawks up on the man advantage for the final 1:50 of regulations. MU would later pull its goaltender, but David Boehm (So., F, Naples, Fla.) came up with the puck, found Sam Rendle (So., D, Grand Rapids, Minn.) and the Grand Rapids, Minn. native secured the 5-3 win with an empty-net goal.
Bakala made 17 saves in the game, collecting his first win of the season (1-0-0). In the loss, Reichard (0-1-0) turned away 19 BSU shots and allowed four goals.
Tonight's game was a momentous occasion for three BSU players. Boehm, Matt Prapavessis (Fr., D, Oakville, Ontario) and Tyler Tosunian (Fr., F, Whittier, Calif.) each made their debuts for the Beavers. Boehm, a transfer from the University of Massachusetts practiced with the team in 2010-11 while sitting out in compliance with NCAA transfer rules, while Prapavessis and Tosunian skated in their first collegiate games.
BSU has now won 41 of 56 season-openers all time and is 2-3-0 versus Miami, with both wins coming over the RedHawks when they carried the nations No. 1 ranking.
Bemidji State, (1-0-0) and Miami will wrap up the season-opening series tomorrow. The opening face off is set for 6:05 p.m. (CST).